2017 Pro Bowl Prediction
With the format going back to the AFC versus the NFC, will tonight's NFL Pro Bowl return to a high-scoring affair?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the NFC is currently a 4.5-point favorite over the AFC after opening as a 4-point favorite. The total, meanwhile, hit the board at 83.5 and has been bet down to 80.5 at the majority of online sports books.
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Over the past three years the NFL adopted a format where two former star players would draft players to compete in the Pro Bowl, ditching the traditional format which pitted NFC stars versus AFC stars. After going to the new format, the average combined score over those three years was "just" 59.6 points, which led to plenty of unders for unsuspecting casual bettors.
That said, before Team Rice defeated Team Sanders in 2014, Team Irvin beat Team Carter in 2015, and before Team Irvin beat Team Rice in 2016, the scores in the Pro Bowl were astronomical. In 2013, the NFC and AFC combined for 97 points. In 2012, the two teams combined to score 100 points. In 2011, the final score was 55-41, for a combined 96 points.
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OUR PREDICTION: Thus, with the format returning to the traditional AFC versus NFC, this should be a high-scoring affair again tonight. The NFL favors offense anyway and when you get a game where the quarterbacks aren't blitzed, nobody tackles and the matchup turns into a flag football game with pads, points will be easy to come by. The over/under is set high, but it's not unrealistic to see the game reach the 90s again.
2017 NFL PRO BOWL PREDICTION: AFC/NFC OVER 80.5